Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The U.S.-Cuban Circus

An Unending Carousel
Photo montage courtesy of: John Minchillo/Associated Press.
      Monday night {January 4, 2016}, even though I am an unabashed newshound, I turned off TV News because, as I often do, I tired of a saturation of Talking Head pundits incessantly Talking About a fresh uproar about presidential candidate Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly, the Anchor/Princess for Fox News. The latest fracas erupted when Kelly made this attention-getting, ratings-boosting comment: "Before Donald Trump launched his presidential bid, he tried to woo me. But I can't be wooed. I was never going to love him, and I was never going to hate him." WOW! That's a headline-grabbing statement, even in this money-crazed and media-distorted presidential election year of 2016!! First off, both Trump and Kelly are long-married with children. Secondly, Kelly's laughable statement that she doesn't "hate him" is ridiculous. She hates Donald Trump because, amazingly, she considers him a threat to win the Republican presidential nomination over her beloved obvious choice Marco Rubio. The high-profile Kelly anchored the Republican debate carried by Fox News. Kelly began that debate with a famous GOT-YOU question fired unceremoniously at Donald Trump. She asked, with a sly grin: "You've called women you don't like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals. You once told a contestant on 'Celebrity Apprentice' it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like a temperment of a man we should elect President?" The opening question, of course, was designed to undermine Trump's amazing position as front-runner in the Republican primary, ahead of Kelly's beloved Marco Rubio. For months now, Kelly's question and Trump's bloody reaction have made headlines, exacerbated this week by Kelly's amazing assertion that Trump once tried to...uh, uh..."woo" her.
         Meanwhile, while Megyn Kelly tries desperately to derail Donald Trump on behalf of Marco Rubio, Rubio himself has carte blanche to appear nightly on Megyn Kelly's highly rated prime-time "news" program on Fox "News." Now that's important, for this very specific reason: Fox News is by far the highest rated cable news operation in the United States...even though any unbiased analyst would consider it nothing more and nothing less than a right-wing propaganda machine that has long-since turned off even many lifelong conservative Republicans like me.
       Having Megyn Kelly and the other Fox News anchors promoting him nightly is a huge advantage, and perhaps a pivotal one, for Marco Rubio. Also, most CNN, MSNBC, Aljazeera America, NBC, CBS, and ABC network anchors favor Rubio. Also, so do most conservative, right-wing, and Jewish billionaires as well as the Tea Party. So did the Bush dynasty, at least until Rubio side-swiped and zoomed past his mentor, Jeb Bush, in his quest for the White House, a quest that began the very first day Rubio set foot in the Senate. Now, in the first week of January in the decisive year of 2016, Rubio has only to catch Donald Trump and Ted Cruz to lock up the Republican presidential sweepstakes. With influential "journalists" such as Megyn Kelly fervently promoting him, Rubio is on his way.
         This Vanity Fair cover illustrates just how influential Megyn Kelly and Fox News really are. Enough to hand the Republican nomination to Marco Rubio? Probably.
         On a given night in America, Fox News has over 3 million viewers in prime-time, far more than the other cable news networks combined. The 3 million loyal Fox News viewers are almost exclusively Republicans. So, yes, Fox can tilt the Republican presidential sweepstakes to Marco Rubio even with his many flaws and a track-record in the U. S. Senate that is nil, expect for blocking the highly qualified Roberta Jacobson's nomination as Ambassador to Mexico because of her alleged "sin" in brilliantly representing the U. S. in diplomatic negotiations with Cuba, one of many obstinate stances by Rubio that even most Cuban-Americans in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood oppose. Yet, a lot of billionaire dollars and Fox News can put Rubio in the White House as of January, 2017, thanks to the three-ring circus known as U. S. politics. UH, DID MEGAN KELLY ACTUALLY ACCUSE DONALD TRUMP OF TRYING TO "WOO" HER? The answer, I'm sorry to say, is...yes, she did! WOW!!
Meanwhile, great U.S.-Cuban news:
     Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe this week has made historic connections on his three-day trip to Cuba!! On Day #2 of his visit yesterday -- Jan. 4th-2016 -- McAuliffe signed an historic agreement for the Virginia Port Authority to work with its Cuban counterpoint, the refurbished Port of Mariel. McAuliffe's state airplane had special permission to land at Havana's Jose Marti Airport Sunday. His 30-person delegation includes other top Virginia officials as well as 20 key Virginia business executives. McAuliffe hopes Virginia can sharply increase its commerce with Cuba and that Virginia's huge port will take over as the main port doing business with Cuba. He chastised the head of Smithfield Foods for currently shipping pork to Florida to transport it to Cuba, saying such an arrangement was "stupid." The enthused Governor told newsmen, "I just think Cuba is a huge potential for us for many years to come. We're coming here to plant the American flag!" He also arranged for Virginia Commonwealth University, the huge public university in Richmond, to sign an historic agreement with the University of Havana to exchange collaborative programs and research.
          Terry McAuliffe has only been Virginia's Governor since 2014. But on the national stage...he is a former Chairman of the National Democratic Party...back in 2009 he went to Cuba to lobby for Virginia to sell apples and wine to Cuba. Yesterday back in Cuba as Virginia's Governor, McAuliffe met with two top economic Ministers for Cuba -- Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz and Rodrigo Malmierca -- and told them, "I've had long-standing opposition to the U. S. embargo targeting Cuba." He also reminded them of his "high-level Washington connections." He toured Havana yesterday, expecially the Havana Hilton and bars once frequented by famed Americans including Earnest Hemingway. On the street, a Cuban named Julio Alvarez asked McAuliffe, "Do you want to see my car?" It was a pink-and-white 1956 Chevy. McAuliffe took a look and said, "No, I want to drive it!" And so he did, all around Havana! His tour guide was Ayleen Robainas. At one stop she pointed out to the Governor a 1906 building that Cuba was renovating to make it a "nice hotel." McAuliffe wondered if Cuba could make use of Virginia material in the renovation process. Ayleen replied, "No, we will do it on our own." It was a gentle reminder that, as Cuba reshapes its economy, it has, at the moment at least, more trust in dealing with countries more friendly than the United States. But...Governor McAuliffe and the other 29 important Virginians traveling with him are trying to change that.
Terry McAuliffe.
Virginia's dynamic, Cuba-friendly Governor!!
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